Home » Ricciardo rejects blame for race-ending crash

Ricciardo rejects blame for race-ending crash

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After months of speculation, criticism, struggles for form and being sacked, the Australian has his race mojo back.While the majority of the Mexican Grand Prix will be forgotten for how spectacularly boring it was as a race, two moments will be etched in fan memories for a long time to come.Firstly the incident involving Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda which saw Alpha Tauri driver mount the McLaren’s front left tyre before spinning off track with significant damage.In a terrific battle for 11th, the Australian went wheel-to-wheel with the Tsunoda before the pair made contact.It was a scary moment which ultimately ended Tsunoda’s raceReplays suggest Ricciardo may have underestimated how little space there was.”What the f*** is he doing?” a furious Tsunoda said on the radio afterwards.Ricciardo was slapped with a 10-second penalty for the collision which produced the second memorable moment of the race.Vintage Ricciardo storming through the field to take 7th place despite the penalty.“I’m very happy but it still wasn’t straight forward.,” he said after the race.“I got a 10-second penalty so I’m a little mixed about it. You never want contact to the point the guy goes off but I just saw a replay and I don’t feel as bad about it now.“I thought five (seconds) would have been ok“The truth is I will take responsibility but I wanted to stay there to go wide and get the exit. I thought he saw me.“It’s not 100% my fault but that was the difficult moment in the race. “After I heard I got 10 seconds I was pretty dark, I didn’t respond.”What happened next Ricciardo said he knew he had in him from the start of the race.Producing more overtakes and the rest pof the drivers combined, the Aussie found himself sitting in 7th.He had three laps to extend his lead over Esteban Ocon by an additional second to ensure his penlty would not lose him points.He did it with time to spare.It was the Ricciardo of old and the moment was celebrated by so many of his peers on and off the track.“Give him a penalty on the grid every race, he is flying,” Martin Brundle said afterwards.“It’s just so nice to see him ack, he’s been struggling so much.“Welcome back Daniel Ricciardo.“10 seconds is a little unfair for that, Daniel thought there was a gap, it’s a heavy penalty.”For the first time this season, Ricciardo was named Driver of the Day.It clearly meant the world to him as he was interviewed after the race but there was only one question people wnated answers on.What is happening in 2023?“I can confidently saw I won’t be on the grid behind a wheel,”Ricciardo said.“I want to be in the sport working with a team with the ambition of driving in 2024. That’s where my head is at, I think time away from a race seat will do me good and rebuild on something for 2024.“So next year will look a bit different.“There is no doubt the last two years have been hard. When you put a lot in and it doesn’t come back, it’s hard.“I know the value of a break, stepping away gives you perspective. This will be a blessing in disguise.“By doing less I will achieve more.”The rumourmill has linked Ricciardo with a reserve driver role at Red Bull or Mercedes.Wherever he is going, he is remaining tight lipped for now.“I honestly don’t (know who with) I am talking to teams,” he added.“I am sure seeing lights go out in race 1 next year I will have that itch.“I don’t want to say there’s a ot (of options) because if there was I would be in a race seat. “There’s enough interest to certainly keep me interested and keep me on.”WHO WON THE RACE?Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claimed a record 14th victory of the Formula One season.World champion Verstappen finished a comfortable 15.186 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes while Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez finished third on home soil.It was the second win inside a week for Dutchman Verstappen, who also triumped at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.Verstappen has now beaten the record previously held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel for the most wins in a single season.“It has been an incredible year so far, we are definitely enjoying it and we’ll try to go for more (victories),” said Verstappen.Hamilton lamented his team’s decision to choose medium and then hard tyre compounds while Verstappen went from softs to medium.“I was close in the first stint, but the Red Bulls were too fast today and they probably had the right tyre strategy,” Hamilton said.Perez was cheered loudly by a sell-out crowd.“Unfortunately, it didn’t work out today, but it is great to get third place here and be on the podium,” Perez said.George Russell finished a frustrated fourth for Mercedes, but clocked the fastest lap ahead of the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, both unable to find the pace to make any impact on the leading quartet.Mexico Grand PrixHISTORIC WIN FOR MAX VERSTAPPENThe Red Bull driver crosses the line first to claim his 14th win of the season making him the first driver to achieve this in a season.Hamilton secondPerez thirdLAP 69 VERSTAPPEN LEADSThis is a drive and a half from Ricciardo, he has three laps to find one extra second and that penalty will not impact him finishng 7th!LAP 65 VIRTUAL SAFETY CAR!Alonso is out of the race and he is FILTHY.None of the front runners have pitted which is interesting I was convinced Mercedes would have come in.Russell angry and he says he has gone over debris and his tyres are gone.Mercedes tell him to stay out.LAP 63 VERSTAPPEN LEADSI tell you there is one thing that’s incredibly irritating as an F1 spectator and that’s when the drivers say the same thing over and over on the radio.George Russell, I have lost count of how many times he has told us his tyres are no good.A little further back Alonso is having some dramas and the Alpine team looks concerned and we could have our second retirement of the race.LAP 43 VERSTAPPEN LEADSMercedes may have sabotaged their best chance of a race victory at the Mexico Grand Prix.Tyre choices across the field have brought a little chaos with the track unusually slippery despite there being no rain.Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell led at certain points during the first half however the decision for both to switch to hard compound proved disastrous.On Lap 43 both drivers reported significant struggles with their tyres as Verstappen extended his lead beyond 10 seconds.Red Bull opted for both cars to race on mediums after the first stop having started on softs.“I dont think Mercedes have an answer for Red Bull up front at all,” says Martin Brundle.TSUNODA RETIRESLAP 37 - VERSTAPPEN LEADSRicciardo told he will switch to Plan C which would, I think, Mean getting as far as possible on the medium and finishing the race on the softs. For the drivers that are yet to pit you would think they’re gambling on a late safety car.Ricciardo is currently driving 9th.His teammate pitted about three laps ago on to the hard and is back in 15th.A blow now for Russell who has been told to lift and coast for the rest of the race.LAP 30 - RUSSELL LEADSHamilton has gone into the pits and is on the hard compound which will get him to the end of this race in theory.He comes out from the pits in third with Russell leading and Verstappen second.Russell confident he can extend this session and wants to go onto the softs to end the race.More drama in the pits with Carlos Sainz now enduring a painful stop.About half the field has not gone in. Ricciardo yet to pit and is now in 10th.1-10RUSVERHAMPERALOBOTOCONORSAILECRED BULL BOYCOTTRed Bull has boycotted interviews with F1 broadcasters Sky Sports in response to one of their pundits saying Lewis Hamilton had been “robbed” of a world title.Christian Horner is a regular feature on the pre-race coverage but it is understood that he and both drivers refused any approach of interview.F1 pundit Ted Kravitz said Hamilton had been robbed of an eighth title in last year’s controversial finish at Abu Dhabi.“Seven-time world champion – I almost said eight-time world champion – seven-time world champion goes into the final race trying to be the greatest of all time, and win (the) championship,” Kravitz said in his ‘Ted’s Notebook’ segment.“He gets robbed, comes back, his next year’s car is rubbish… doesn’t win a race all year, and then finally comes back at a track where he could win the first race all year, battling the same guy who won the race he was robbed in the previous year, and manages to finish ahead of him.”LAP 26 - HAMILTON LEADSSignificantly better stop for Verstappen as he comes in.He said his tyres were “dead” and the team has done a phenomenal job on that stop. 2.5 seconds and he is ahead of the Ferrari duo.Hamilton now leads the race and he is being told to go six laps longer than anticipated given the condition of his tyres.Perez emerged behind the Ferraris and he’s just taken out Leclerc and my word you would have throught someone had just scored the winning goal in the World Cup final the roar was so loud!LAP 24 - VERSTAPPEN LEADSA painful pitstop for Sergio Perez and that really could be the difference between a podium spot at his home Grand Prix and fourth. His left rear problematic. He will likely now go to a two-stopHis teammate meanwhile remains out but is radio-ing in issues with the front left refusing to turn which when you’re travelling at 300kph is less than ideal.LAP 21 VERSTAPPEN LEADS BUT STRUGGLESHe’s on the softs this is more than normal for the Red Bull so he will be in the pits very soon and if all goes to plan he will come out ahead of the Ferrari duo.Russell as a result of this will drive a long stint and that suggests he will be used as the road blocker to keep Hamilton leading.LAP 18 PENALTYGasly has copped a five second penalty for thta move on Stroll who has come into the pits.Here’s to hoping Gasly serves the penalty correctly this time. You’ll remember the last time he copped a sanction he only served 4.8 seconds of it.Further ahead, Ricciardo is closing in on Tsunoda for 11th.LAP 13 - VERSTAPPEN LEADSLANCE STROLL: “I’m sliding everywhere man I have no f*****g grip.”He’s not wrong his car has looked like it’s being driven on ice all weekend.“That’s a totally useless radio call,” says Brundle taking a swipe at the young Canadian who he says should actually be saying something a little more suggestive/helpful to his team.And the young driver will be filthy with what’s just happened on turn 9 with Pierre Gasly who railroaded him off the track. Safe to say the AlphaTauri will be giving that place back.LAP 9 - RICCIARDO GETS THE OVERTAKEThe Aussie is finally up to 12th and he’s consolidated the overtake and comfortably ahead. Ricciardo now going after Tsunoda in 11th (+2.6s) and ahead of him his teammate Norris.The one team we’ve not seen much from is Ferrari. Both cars in 5th and 6th but “sandbagging” is the term Martin Brundle just used and he’s not wrong. Both kind of sitting in no man’s land.LAP 6 - VERSTAPPEN LEADSThe Red Bull is 1.3 ahead but Hamilton has just set the fastest pace of the race and just quietly I reckon that Mercedes might stand atop of the podium in 64 laps time.A little behind the leaders there is a terrific battle brewing for 7th between Alonso and Bottas. DRS is open so standby for some old school wheel-to-wheel from them.Back in 1`3th Ricciardo is trying to find a way through Zhou who is defending like a king.WE ARE RACING - VERSTAPPEN LEADSA terrific start from Lewis Hamilton who gains a spot on his teammate to go second and I cannot explain how insanely loud this crowd is, the roar as the Red Bull of Perez makes a small contact with Russel was deafening!Stroll gained five spots, Alonso and Tsunoda both gained two spots.Bottas dropped two as did Ricciardo.All cars safely around first lap.HOW THEY STARTALONSO ROASTS HAMILTONFernando Alonso has made an astonishing claim that Max Verstappen’s two F1 titles mean more than Lewis Hamilton’s seven world crowns.It came after Red Bull were slapped with a $10.5m fine and a reduction in wind tunnel time for breaking the $206m budget cap in 2021 when Verstappen controversially beat Hamilton to the title.Social media raged at the penalty, with Verstappen being labelled a “costcap champion” or simply “costcappen”, as the FIA failed to overturn the championship, despite the outcome of the defining Abu Dhabi GP.Alonso, who has a history of bad blood with Hamilton following their bitter fallout as teammates at McLaren in 2008, said: “I have a lot of respect for Lewis, but still it is different when you win seven world titles when you only had to fight with your teammate.“Then I think a championship has less value than when you have fewer titles but have had to fight against other drivers with equal or even better material.“In 2005 and 2006, I had a good start to the year myself and was able to create a lead. Then others might have had a better car, but I was able to manage that gap.“I never had to fight with my teammate to win those titles. Nor did I see Max fighting with [Sergio] Perez or [Alex] Albon to win races.“But Schumacher in particular fought with his teammate to become champion five times in a row and Hamilton fought with Rosberg and [Valtteri] Bottas. That’s different, I think.“I want to fight with the best drivers and Max is part of that. I have been lucky enough to fight with Sebastian Vettel, Lewis and Michael Schumacher in the past, but I have never had that chance with Max.“Hopefully that will still happen in the coming years when I drive for Aston Martin.”Red Bull boss Christian Horner said on Friday that while his team accepted the terms of their cost cap breach, he was adamant the overspend would not have increased his team’s cars’ performance.Horner also said he felt the fine and wind tunnel reduction was “draconian”, as it would reduce his cars’ performance by half a second over a lap.However, Mercedes trackside engineering director, Andrew Shovlin, hit back ahead of Sunday’s Mexico GP, saying: “The scale of that penalty isn’t much more than what you would lose if you are just one place higher up in the championship.“It’s not as big as the penalty if you are positioned two places higher. So I think describing it as draconian is an exaggeration.“You definitely need to be more efficient but if it were half a second, which I’d heard mentioned, then a team at the back of the grid would have over a three-second advantage to one at the front and that simply isn’t the case.”Updates to story
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